Welding Group Creates Leadership Path for Veterans, People of Color and New Graduates
Under the leadership of the executive vice president, Sundaram (Naga) Nagarajan, the ITW Welding platform embarked upon a strategic multi-level recruiting and leadership development effort. The objectives include building bench strength to fill management opportunities, filling the talent pipeline, and increasing the diversity of ITW’s workforce. In 2011 we worked on two aspects of these objectives.
Businesses in the welding platform initiated a job rotation program. A highly diverse group of program participants joined ITW as early-in-career professionals, veteran military officers, and new college graduates. These new employees are assigned a mentor and placed in two-year rotations across departments and given defined, management-oriented learning opportunities.
Also, in partnership with UNCF (United Negro College Fund), welding businesses began hiring African-American college students for paid summer internships across the platform’s 23 U.S. business units. Through specific projects and other responsibilities, the interns are given an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom while making a contribution to their respective business unit. Upon successful completion of the summer internship, interns receive an ITW UNCF scholarship which helps pay for their tuition, books and fees.
The job rotation program and the UNCF partnership complement ITW Welding’s existing leadership development approach for establishing employees who exhibit greater leadership potential.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Mentors Hans Bachmeier and Wendy Garrity, general managers, and rotation participants Koray Benson, operations manager and Elizabeth Froelich, marketing manager.